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4 Common Traits in Successful Leaders

Trait /trāt/

  • a distinguishing quality (as of personal character) curiosity is one of her notable traits

  • an inherited characteristic

A trait is defined as an inherited characteristic, something intrinsic within you. This doesn’t mean that a trait is not something you can work on and enhance in yourself. For example, let’s say you aren’t inherently self-conscious. That doesn’t mean that you’ll never walk into a crowded room with your head held high and stir up small talk with ease. It just means that you will have to work harder at it. You will have to practice and learn from people that have the confidence you are after. It is like a muscle, strengthened as a result of consistent effort focused on growth.

These are the 4 most common traits we see in successful leaders. Traits that allow leaders to guide their organization to success. But I guarantee that all of those leaders had to work at one or two of these.

1. Self-Awareness The trait is so important in so many aspects of the work environment. Self-awareness means you see what others see in you and you see how you affect others. Recognizing your own strengths, weaknesses and ability to manage emotions (emotional intelligence) allows you to become the best version of yourself. How you can improve

  • Reflect on the impact you have, how you think, how you connect and communicate, how you make decisions and how you show up. Ask yourself What have I done well? and What can I do better? Do this daily.

  • We all have blind spots. Ask for feedback from those around you and then listen… without justifying.

2. Great Communication and Connection Skills Effective communication goes beyond just delivering information. It is the key to connection and the call to action. Without connection, communication is void of power. Great communicators can speak clearly as well as listen and comprehend. Effective communication often takes practice. How you can improve

  • Listen – The most important skill to grow in becoming a better communicator is your listening skills. Listening helps you to focus on learning about what can be done to improve. It helps you uncover truths and find issues without placing blame.

  • Identify and address your barriers – is it yourself, your audience, your environment or your message?

  • Prepare yourself before going into a difficult conversation, a presentation, a meeting you are leading, etc.

  • Ask for feedback.

3. Empower, Encourage and Develop others All of this helps you to develop a high-performing team, whether you are leading the team or a part of it. A high-performing team that feels empowered and encouraged is more likely to bring new ideas and innovations and nurture the growth of each other. How you can improve

  • Show Sincere enthusiasm and interest in people

  • Appreciate in public, chastise in private

  • Focus energy and efforts on meeting goals and encourage colleagues to do the same.

4. Agility Leaders must continually develop their ability to be nimble and agile to navigate volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous situations and environments. Leaders need to stay ahead, to see more than others, and to see before others. Leaders need to hone their ability to anticipate, adapt and act. How you can improve

  • Reflect on yourself and ask for feedback. Staying aware of yourself helps you create forward movement.

  • Be present to gain insight and listen to those around you.

  • Work on believing in your own ability to adapt and problem solve.

  • Practice a growth mindset. Every opportunity provides learning for growth. When something doesn’t go how you expected, focus on the opportunities that come from it.

Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.

-Peter F. Drucker

Being a good leader is relatively easy. But being a great leader takes practice and intentional effort.

Want to learn more about our Leadership Institute and how it can help you in your journey to become a great leader? Learn more.

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